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Stamford Town Center - New Chains Open

For those of you following the build-out of the new Stamford Town Center, several of the chain restaurants opened today...

P.F. Chang's China Bistro - www.pfchangs.com
Cosi - www.getcosi.com
Kona Grill - www.konagrill.com
California Pizza Kitchen - www.cpk.com

Mitchell's Fish Market opens in December.

Famous Dave's BBQ bailed out, so there is a 5800sq ft restaurant space still available for lease.

If you need a reason to visit, the massive new Barnes & Noble is open now too

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  1. Welcome the American heartland. Except for Kona Grill, I have the other five of them within 10 miles of me in Michigan.

    5 Replies
    1. re: brendastarlet

      I will be interested to see how the area reacts to these restaurants. There are a tremendous number of restaurants in the area and the only other chain in Stamford is a Bennigans.

      PF Changs carries some amount of snob appeal, but the other restaurants don't seem to stand out from the crowd...

      1. re: Zobot

        And Cosi has already proven its mediocrity at its other Stamford location on High Ridge. These spots will be no doubt appealing when you've shopped for hours, get hungry, and are looking for a convenient place to land, but it's hard to imagine anyone making a special trip to the mall just for chain pizza, Chinese or sushi when you can get decent home grown versions all over town.

        1. re: MommaJ

          I agree with you that these chains are mediocre. But atleast it is not Mickey D.s! I would rather go to a local place for a piece of pizza but I think that Cosi is perfectly adequate for a quick meal. The food is consistently mediocre. But I would take a Cosi breakfast sandwich or salad over the same at Mickey D. s any time.

          1. re: MommaJ

            Yeah, but the Cosi on High Ridge has free wireless, which - in Stamford (or all of Ffld Cty) - makes up for a multitude of sins.

          2. re: Zobot

            Morton's is a chain. So is IHOP. They seem to do OK on their respective levels, I do not see why some of these new places won't do well either.

        2. We went to Chang's on Sunday. The food was all tasteless and overpriced. We had Crab Wonton app ($7), Chang's Chicken entree ($13) and Sweet/Sour Chicken entree ($12). The dining room is nice and service is good. This was our first and last visit to Chang's. As far as "snob appeal" (Zobot), I don't get it. That's like saying going to Pizza Hut carries some amount of snob appeal.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Martypb7

            My very first experience with PF Chang's in White Plains (that long ago, since I paid for parking) was finding a hair in my meal. They gave me a free dessert. Haven't been back since and wouldn't ever go again.

            Cosi -- too expensive for what it is.

            Not interested in the other two.

            Build out of the mall, though? That sounds interesting. Might be worth a visit.

            1. re: Martypb7

              Ha! :) I think we can safely say that PF Chang's caters to a slightly more upscale demographic than Pizza Hut.

              I think it's hard to give a restaurant a death sentence after one visit, especially when they've only been open a week...everyone from the hosts, to the waitstaff, to the cooks are still learning the ropes...

              I haven't been to a Chang's in several years, but I'm sure we'll end up trying the Stamford location. (After all, we'll try most any restaurant in town once).

            2. CPK was nothing special either. It was just okay, as I expected. We had two different pies. One was the vegetarian and the other was the chipotle chicken. The vegetarian was bland and had almost no cheese on it. The chipotle chicken one had a nice kick, but I didn't like the thick, green, creamy sauce on top of it. Not enough cheese either. Hard to find anything better than Colony. The service definitely needs work, but that's to be expected with any new restaurant.

              1. As far as I'm concerned, the fact that a Fairfield county mall has chains like that is one of the 7 signs of the apocalypse.

                5 Replies
                1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                  They confined in a mall, where I think chains make sense. That's fine. Now, if they start to pop up more on Altantic street and Summer street, then it gets worrisome. but most independent places, by my unscientific assumption, wouldn't want to be in a mall setting anyhow.

                  If you are stuck in the Stamford mall without an option to leave (pity you), then at least the eating options are better than what was before. We've moved from the worst of the fast food to the mediocre of pseudo ethnic chains.

                  But no doubt, going out side and walking down the ramp leads to much, much better eating options around the corner.

                  1. re: adamclyde

                    We drove by the new mall expansion on our way to Market Restaurant on saturday night. All of the chain restaurants are outside in a horseshoe shape with a driveway and valet parking in the middle. They all looked like enormous spaces and it was a bit scary! The "7 signs of the apocalypse" comment hit the nail on the head!!

                    1. re: kbfood

                      It may be a large space, but it's a whole lot better than the blight that was there before...

                    2. re: adamclyde

                      I totally agree. I wouldn't ordinarily go to a mall just to eat lunch, but when I have been to this mall in the past, there has been nothing whatsoever to eat. Now at least there will be someplace to go if you have shopping to do and don't want to leave the mall for lunch. I'm not big on chains, but chain stores are generally the only ones who can afford mall space. And this seems a vast improvement over previous options.

                    3. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                      I'm not sure why chains like that are worse than anything else you'd find in a food court in any Fairfield County mall. Is California Pizza Kitchen all that different quality-wise than Sbarro's?

                      Personally, I've liked the P.F. Chang's in White Plains, although I haven't been there in a while. I liked the orange peel chicken and the black bean chicken. The meat is less gristly and the food is less greasy than that which I've had at the random local Chinese take-out places.

                    4. The Beginning of The End!
                      The reason I love living in Stamford is that I can get great non-chain food! It forced me to broaden my horizons when I moved here. Hit those places up when Christmas shopping if you must. But, you'd be better off parking in the mall for 50 cents and walking to any number of fantastic restaurants downtown.